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Category Archives: E-Commerce

How commuter boredom turned audiobooks into a billion-dollar industry

Quartz: “Thomas Edison dreamed of audiobooks. When Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, he tested his new device by reciting the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” That wasn’t highbrow literature, but Edison felt that the recorded form would lend itself well to full-length books, too—and that some books, perhaps, were meant to be heard rather than seen. “The advantages of such books over those printed are too readily seen to need mention,” Edison wrote in the literary journal North American Review. “Such books would be listened to where now none are read.” The phonograph, and later the record player, was instrumental in spurring the music industry, but the audiobook business didn’t sprout up until a full century after Edison’s invention. Now, they’re a billion-dollar industry, a normalized way for readers to consume books, and an unavoidable facet of literary life. In 2022, audiobooks brought in $1.8 billion in the US on the heels of a decade of double-digit revenue growth and corporate investment (not only by major publishers but also tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Spotify.) So, what can stop audiobooks from becoming the future of reading? Nothing. Audiobooks are versatile, enriching, transformative and—at times—really fun. So leave any prejudice that it’s not real reading at home. Take a walk, put your headphones in, and listen to something great…”

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, September 16, 2023

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, September 16, 2023 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

Amazon launches generative AI to help sellers write product descriptions

Amazon: “Generative artificial intelligence (generative AI) is helping people tackle tasks like building spreadsheets, captioning images, and writing essays, poems, and presentations. Now, Amazon is using the latest advancements in AI to dramatically improve the listing creation and management experience for sellers. A new set of generative AI capabilities will simplify how Amazon sellers create… Continue Reading

You Should Worry About the Data Retailers Collect About You

The Atlantic [free to read]: “…Smartphones gave stores even more refined information about their customers, facilitating new kinds of in-store spying that most people probably don’t even know exists. Mousetrap-size radio transmitters called beacons ping off apps on your phone and can track your location down to the inch inside a store, giving retailers granular… Continue Reading

How to finally ditch Chrome and move all your data and bookmarks to another browser

PopSci: “The latest version of Google Chrome introduced new settings that have raised privacy concerns. Google says these tools “give you more choice over the ads you see,” which sounds nice. But it’s also a jargony way to say the browser will track your web surfing and share some of your data with advertisers so… Continue Reading

We Found 650,000 Ways Advertisers Label You

Via LLRX – We Found 650,000 Ways Advertisers Label You – If you spend any time online, you probably have some idea that the digital ad industry is constantly collecting data about you, including a lot of personal information, and sorting you into specialized categories so you’re more likely to buy the things they advertise… Continue Reading

Reclaiming Control: The Internet Archive Empowers People. Gatekeepers Keep Suing

Tech Dirt: “…About a year and a half later, the Internet Archive was sued for providing books in this manner to the public. The suit was triggered by a short-lived, well meaning program that made books available to students during a dark part of the pandemic by lifting certain restrictions on how many people at… Continue Reading

Are YouTube Advertisers Inadvertently Harvesting Data From Millions of Children?

The New York Times [read free]: YouTube Ads May Have Led to Online Tracking of Children, Research Says. “YouTube’s advertising practices on kids’ channels could have resulted in companies tracking children across the web, a report said.This year, BMO, a Canadian bank, was looking for Canadian adults to apply for a credit card. So the… Continue Reading

Stop Trackers Dead: The Best Private Browsers for 2023

PCMag: “Online marketers mine your data and target you for sales. Foil their efforts with the tracking protection and privacy features offered by the top secure browsers we’ve tested.  Online privacy is a major concern for everyone, and by far the biggest personal privacy issues arise when you browse the internet. Why? Because online marketers… Continue Reading

Your forgetting to cancel one of many subscriptions is big business

Fortune – Study finds up to 200% sales boost from pure absentmindedness. “Subscription models for goods have become so widespread, it’s possible to live an entire life without permanently owning anything. Thank the subscription economy, kick-started over a decade ago by the likes of Netflix, Spotify, Blue Apron, and Uber, and today encompassing nearly every… Continue Reading

Now you can find and follow friends on Substack

Substack Blog: “Today, we’re making it much easier to find and follow your friends on Substack, helping you explore the network and be discovered by new readers. Since we launched Notes in April, following has been one of the most requested features from writers and readers. Following helps writers grow their audience via the Substack… Continue Reading